Adam's Hope is a non-profit charity dedicated to helping families in the Quinte & surrounding area affected by autism.
Adam's Hope was created by the parents of an autistic boy. After having tried traditional therapies for 4 years, Adam's parents were concerned that his progress was extremely slow. Confident that Adam was capable of learning and developing, his parents sought other methods of therapy.
With Adam's program in place, Adam's parents wanted to help other families affected by autism. After many years of being the front line of Adam's Hope, in 2016 they decided to hand over the reins to local mothers who have children on the spectrum.
CO-CHAIR- Christina Knight
I was 19 when I had my first son, Owen. At the age of 20, Dylan was born. Dylan was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two and a half. We went to Speech therapy and other therapies until he was able to go to Intensive Behavioural Intervention through CSBD at the age of four. This brought and challenges and sometimes difficulties; mostly related to coordinating our schedules to Dylan’s new routine. During this time we were introduced to new technologies that improved Dylan’s communication skills. This was a big commitment for Dylan and the entire family to learn to use them and continue consistent use.
Dylan started school at Parkdale Public school in a regular class setting, with has its ups and downs. Dylan had 1:1 EA support plus the natural support of his classmates. Dylan has now transitioned to Susan Moodie, so we could take advantage of this program. This means that Dylan now has access to 3 EA’s, 1 teacher with a small classroom setting of 10 students. Dylan enjoys the school setting engages with the children more and is able to focus better in class. He comes home in a happier mood.
Dylan completed the IBI program in grade 2. I feel this contributed to his success and he uses strategies he learned even today in grade 4.
Dylan and his brother have an unusual relationship that consists of plenty of play fighting and tickling. They have built their bond in a way that was natural and real. It definitely makes it more difficult when we are trying to get out the door or running a quick errand At the grocery store but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
CO-CHAIR- Joanne Alexander
On Feb 19th, 2008 we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy, Matthew. For many of you on FB you might not be aware of my son’s story and today I would like to share as its World Autism Awareness Day!
Matthew was the quiet, happy and always content baby. He seemed to hit most milestones except for speech and walking. We knew his hearing wasn’t the greatest and had to fight with specialists to find out what was causing all of his problems, as he had ear infection after ear infection. I felt he lived more on prescribed antibiotic’s then regular food. . At age one, Matthew became extremely sick with pneumonia. At first, doctors’ just diagnosed him with chest infection and again prescribed Amoxicillin. Matthew became worse. He stopped eating all solids as he would just throw everything up. Finally after fighting with Peds clinic for 3 weeks they sent him for a chest x-ray. He had had pneumonia in his lungs. He was quickly given yet another prescription drug, this time a very potent one. Over the course of his illness, I watched Matthew slip away from us. Refusing to eat most foods which he had loved before, less engaging, no social connections, words he had learned…GONE! I thought at the time it was because he was always sick, but over the next 8 months we found out it was much more. At age 2 he was finally seen by an Ears, Nose and Throat Specialist. Matthew’s ear canals were in waves and had fluid trapped. For the first two years of his life he lived with hearing as though under water….all muffled sounds. He had tubes put in his ears immediately. This has helped Matthew’s hearing but he is still unable to fully communicate verbally. (Improving now daily) Before diagnosis, Matthew was bounced around from specialist to specialist. Some said he had Autistic traits but that he also a lot of traits that didn’t fit on the spectrum. Doctors were baffled and so were we. I just wanted answers so we could give Matthew whatever supports he needed right away. October of 2010, Matthew was finally diagnosed with Autism. Autism is a neurological disorder that has lifelong developmental affects in the way people interact and communicate with those around them. Each child and adult with an ASD is unique and has their own strengths, gifts and support needs. I have to admit, the diagnosis wasn’t a shock for me but it was very hard for me to accept. I don’t think I will ever forget the rush of emotions I felt that day.
Fear – I was afraid for my son and our family. What would the future be like? Were we strong enough to deal with this?
Relief – After all of this time and worry, we finally knew what we were dealing with, and there were services and resources that could help us. We could now make a plan.
Anger – Why him? Why us? How come it took us so long to find out?
Guilt – What caused this? Was there something I had done or could have done to prevent this? I have played this guilt game for the last few years, even though I know it’s nothing I did….it still has been extremely hard for me to accept. Everything I do is for my sweet Matthew…he needs my support, my strength, and my perseverance and I will do anything and everything to advocate for him. Unfortunately there are people in the world who judge, criticize and who don’t understand and accept differences in people. It saddens me when people don’t take the time to get to know Matthew because if they did, they would see all his amazing strengths and skills...Matthew is the most loving affectionate and intelligent young boy.....the things he teaches us everyday blows my mind!
We have learned to help our son find ways to communicate with us, since speech eludes him. We found ways to manage a lot of Matthew’s anxieties and behaviours to help him learn and be able to handle the challenges of everyday life. We have private music and pet therapy to help teach Matthew the skills he needs, and were lucky enough to get therapy through the Ontario government’s ABA program (Speech and OT). Matthew remains on the long IBI wait list (shy of 3 years now) but I am hopeful he will receive soon. And you know what? Things have got better for him! They really have!
This journey isn’t easy, and this journey isn’t quick, but Matthew has come a long way since his diagnosis. He continues to inspire us with his progress daily and he is a joy to be around. I have no doubt in the world that he has made me a better mom, and I can’t wait to see what his future holds. Thank you for taking time so I could share My Matthew’s Journey so far! Please take time today and become a little more aware….
Facts and Stats…..Did you know???
•Autism now affects 1 in 189 girls and 1 in 42 boys (March 27 2014 Statistics)
•Autism prevalence figures are growing
•Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
•There is no medical detection or cure for autism
Makes me think!!!!
HOW WE HELP
Adams Hope is a charity that helps children and their families that go through life living with autism. From helping families to pursue occupational and behavioural therapy, to music and recreational therapy, to helping families obtain communication devices and/or electronic devices to enhance learning, Adam’s Hope isn’t focused on helping families in just one way. Whether help is needed with respite services or swimming classes, it’s about helping to improve lives in whatever way possible.
HOW WE STARTED
ABOUT US NOW